For the first time in years, the Red Sox are not only seriously contending at the trade deadline, but they have an abundance of trade chips in the minor leagues. Normally, this would equate to the Red Sox being major spenders at the trading deadline. However, it is looking like this season may be different in a number of respects. The Red Sox have already made one trade, acquiring Matt Thornton from the White Sox in return for toolsy but raw Double-A outfielder Brandon Jacobs. One name has been paired with the Red Sox in trade rumors for years, Matt Garza, and it looks like the Red Sox may not jump on the chance to acquire him here in 2013.
After dealing with various injuries in his tenure with the Cubs (2011-present), Garza is finally making himself into an excellent trade piece for a Cubs team far out of contention. In 2013, Garza has a 3.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 62:20 K:BB ratio in 71 innings pitched (11 starts). He has dealt with a lat strain this season, which kept him out for the beginning of the year. However, now that he is finally pitching every five days, he has been fantastic for the Cubs in his contract year.
Regardless of all the success that Garza has had in his career and recently, Ben Cherington and the Red Sox front office is right to not be heavily involved. Cost aside, there just is no room for Garza in the Red Sox rotation. Once Clay Buchholz returns, the Red Sox will have a rotation of Buchholz (9-0, 1.71), John Lackey (7-6, 2.78), Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.04), Felix Doubront (6-3, 3.91), and Jon Lester (8-5, 4.60 but not going anywhere). That is a damn good major league rotation, and adding Garza would make it exceptional, but there’s no place to put him.
Now, to look at the cost. Experts have predicted that a trade for Garza would be similar to last year’s trade of Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from the Marlins to the Tigers. Though there was a second everyday player involved in that trade, the Marlins netted Jacob Turner (a top prospect), Rob Brantly (a top prospect), and Brian Flynn (a mid-level prospect).
To acquire Garza, the Red Sox would probably have to trade two of Rubby de la Rosa, Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes, and Blake Swihart. Keeping in mind that this would be for two months of Garza barring an extension, this would just be a foolish move. There is always the possibility that it will take longer than predicted to get Buchholz back in the rotation. However, Brandon Workman pitched well in his first major league start and can hopefully hold down the fort until then. All things considered, trading for Garza would just be a dumb move and it is good that the Red Sox are not a serious part of the mix.